Gianluca Busio among the youth record-breakers in Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs

With 10 games played in the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, youth-centric records are being set left and right.

Look no further than last weekend’s Western Conference Round One stage, when Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes combined to field seven Homegrown Players. That equaled a total set in the Seattle Sounders-FC Dallas game in last year’s playoffs, though this time it was more spread around.

Sporting (Jaylin LindseyGianluca Busio) and San Jose (JT Marcinkowski, Nick Lima) each started two Homegrowns, only for Sporting to bring Felipe Hernandez off the bench and San Jose to turn to Cade Cowell and Tommy Thompson in reserve.

Meanwhile, Busio set an individual record of becoming the youngest player (18 years, 178 days) to score and assist in the same playoff game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, beating none other than Landon Donovan. Busio’s contributions proved crucial in the eventual shootout win, which followed a 3-3 draw.

Youngest players to score, assist in same MLS Cup Playoffs game

Gianluca Busio 18 years, 178 days 11/22/2020 KC  vs SJ
Landon Donovan 19 years, 206 days 9/26/2001 SJ  vs CLB
Landon Donovan 19 years, 224 days 10/14/2001 SJ  vs MIA
DeAndre Yedlin 20 years, 121 days 11/7/2013 SEA  at POR
Edson Buddle 21 years, 127 days 9/25/2002 CLB  at SJ

Sticking with Busio, he also became the fourth youngest player to score a goal in MLS Cup Playoffs history. But Busio was upstaged at the same round, with FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi (third youngest) and New York Red Bulls midfielder Caden Clark (second youngest) both supplanting the US youth international midfielder. 

The record still belongs to Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore from his RBNY days (16 years, 357 days), though the entire field shuffled around after Round One.

Youngest players to score in MLS Cup Playoffs game

Jozy Altidore 16 years, 357 days 10/29/2006 NY  at DC
Caden Clark 17 years, 178 days 11/21/2020 NYR  at CLB
Ricardo Pepi 17 years, 317 days 11/22/2020 DAL  at POR
Gianluca Busio 18 years, 178 days 11/22/2020 KC  vs SJ
DaMarcus Beasley 19 years, 146 days 10/17/2001 CHI  vs LA
Anatole Abang 19 years, 146 days 11/29/2015 NYR  vs CLB

Another headliner was LAFC forward Christian Torres, who became the youngest player in MLS postseason history to start a game (16 years, 223 days). Clark entered the top five as well, but Torres is now the leader ahead of Altidore.

Youngest players to start in the MLS Cup Playoffs

Christian Torres 16 years, 223 days 11/24/2020 LFC  at SEA
Jozy Altidore 16 years, 349 days 10/21/2006 NY  vs DC
Eddie Gaven 17 years, 15 days 11/09/2003 MET at NE
Freddy Adu 17 years, 141 days 10/21/2006 DC  at NY
Caden Clark 17 years, 178 days 11/21/2020 NYR at CLB

Torres is also the second-youngest player to feature in any MLS playoff game. He trails only Freddy Adu, who was aged 15 years and 150 days when he saw action in 2004 for D.C. United.

Youngest players to appear in the MLS Cup Playoffs

Freddy Adu 15 years, 150 days 10/30/2004 DC  at MET
Christian Torres 16 years, 223 days 11/24/2020 LFC  at SEA
Jozy Altidore 16 years, 349 days 10/21/2006 NY  vs DC
Alphonso Davies 17 years, 0 days 11/02/2017 VAN at SEA
Eddie Gaven 17 years, 7 days 11/01/2003 MET at NE

Will up-and-coming talent break more records during the 2020 playoffs? Be sure to tune into the Conference Semifinals this weekend to find out.